FAQs

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer here, then please email tpenquiries@physics.ox.ac.uk.

What is a DPhil? What does PRS mean?

In Oxford, a PhD is given the name "DPhil" (it stands for Doctor of Philosophy). PRS stands for "probationary research student". A student will spend the first year as a PRS before applying for full DPhil status (see the next question).

What happens in the first year of a DPhil?

Our graduate students are admitted as probationary research students (PRS) and continuation, leading to submission of a DPhil thesis, is dependent on attending all parts of the graduate course. This includes attending lectures and seminars, carrying out original research and writing a research report. Examination of the report is by viva at the end of the first year and this is used to assess suitability for transfer to DPhil student status. Satisfactory completion of the first year graduate course is also a factor. Many opportunities exist to attend training courses outside the sub-Department.

How long does the DPhil course last?

The normal period is three years.

Do I need to list all of my qualifications/programmes on the application form?

No, it is sufficient if you provide the details of your highest qualification/programme.

However, you need to submit transcripts of all of your relevant qualifications/programmes with your application.

What documentation do I need to provide with my application?

You need to include the transcripts of previous higher education.
In case you have completed a Bachelor degree and are currently studying for a Master degree, you should state the expected result of the Master degree on the application form and include the official transcript of your Bachelor degree (where applicable with official translation into English either by the relevant issuing institution or a professional translator and certified as such on the translation).

How many references do I need to provide?

You should contact THREE referees and ask them to submit their respective reference latest by the end of the deadline.

Research title on the application form

We do not expect a specific research proposal and title. We suggest you enter "Condensed Matter Theory", optionally followed by a supervisor name(s)/ research areas you would consider joining.

How do I choose which college I will be a member of?

On the application form you will have the opportunity to express a preference for an Oxford college, although you can leave this open if you have no clear preference.

When will the outcome of my application be known?

The outcome of your application will be communicated to you by end of March if your application has been successful, and as soon as the funding position is known. The question of college admission will then follow automatically.

Do you conduct personal interviews?

We typically hold an interview and open day for selected applicants in late February. Some interviews with overseas applicants are via Skype.